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Exceeding expectations, Microsoft (MSFT.US) unveiled robust second-quarter financials on Tuesday, January 30, anchored by cloud computing strength. Earnings outpaced forecasts at $2.93 per share (adjusted), on sales of $62 billion that similarly surpassed estimates.
Propelling top-line outperformance, pivotal cloud revenues expanded to $33.7 billion versus $32.2 billion projected. Azure cloud platform momentum persisted within the Intelligent Cloud segment, generating $25.8 billion – higher than the predicted $25.3 billion haul. Demonstrating Azure’s increasing artificial intelligence proficiency, AI offerings accounted for a notable 6 percentage points of expansion this quarter, doubling AI’s prior 3-point contributory clip.
Making AI central to its business strategy, Microsoft has actively commercialized artificial intelligence across operations – with an eye on profitability. The tech titan has successfully turned AI into revenue through high-margin offerings like its generative cloud services, Copilot feature for Microsoft 365 users, and consumer-geared Copilot Pro. By baking monetizable AI deeply into its products and platforms, Microsoft continues to bolster its financial standings and competitive edge.
In its forecast for the ongoing quarter, Microsoft anticipates sales ranging from $60 billion to $61 billion. However, the midpoint of this projection, positioned at $60.5 billion, falls below the consensus estimate for the March quarter, which is reported at $61 billion according to FactSet. Microsoft shares edged downwards in post-market activity attributable to conservative guidance targets.
(Microsoft Stock Performance Weekly Chart)
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